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by Christian Johannes Koch, Jonas Matauschek


Black dust, shrill metallic noises, dark tunnels, muscular bodies – all that is the past. At the end of 2018, extraction of coal throughout Germany came to an end. That same year, the voices of the emerging climate protest movement Fridays for Future grew louder. Against the backdrop of these media and socio-political events, the film follows five miners on their tragic, humorous and heartwarming search for a new role in life.

international title: Once We Were Pitmen
original title: Wir waren Kumpel
country: Switzerland, Germany
year: 2023
genre: documentary
directed by: Christian Johannes Koch, Jonas Matauschek
film run: 103'
screenplay: Christian Johannes Koch, Jonas Matauschek
cinematography by: Sebastian Klatt
film editing: Natali Barrey, Annette Brütsch, Jonas Matauschek
music: Alexandre J. Maurer
producer: Rajko Jazbec, Tanja Georgieva, Sarah Born, Dario Schoch
production: Catpics AG, elemag pictures GmbH, SRF - Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)
distributor: Royal Film Verleih Distribution, Filmperlen

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